Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Doctor Who Season 8 - Theories and Speculation

It’s time. Time for speculation to run rife and theories to spin out of control. Next week the Doctor Who series 8 finale begins in what I can only assume is a two part extravaganza and it looks like it might surprise us all and actually be good. Maybe. I’ve decided to share some of my Doctor Who finale theories which you all and would love to hear some speculation on where you think this season will end up.

Fear not, this is all based entirely on some casting rumours and on how the story has unfolded thus far. I’ve come up with this without looking elsewhere on-line so if there are similar theories, please pass them on.

Follow me under the cut for all the details!

I want to start by saying that there are a lot of people that Missy could be and I’m not going to rule any of those possibilities out. I said in my first review this season that Missy could actually be an incarnation of River Song and that would probably result in me hurling a few things at the screen and refusing to finish the episode, but it’s entirely possible that’s exactly where this is headed. A friend pointed out over lunch that there is a point at the end of the Matt Smith era where the Doctor asks River about her connection to Clara and she responds that it’s not over yet and there are spoilers. This could be nothing or it could be a big fat something. I have to go back and have a look but it sounds like something Moffat would do.

Similarly, I recently was struck by the notion that Missy could actually be Romana, jaded and twisted by her time away and from travelling alone. The Doctor left her behind but we also know from his adventures that travelling alone makes him lose a part of himself and his compassion. It’s possible that this is part of the plight of the Time Lord and that other Time Lord’s can share this risk. Romana would be an interesting option at this point, but I don’t think Missy will end up being Romana.

I think Missy is the Master. And I am not the only one I’m sure.

Let’s have a look at some of the evidence. We know that Missy has been watching the Doctor obsessively and has been recruiting people to her promised land who are somehow linked with the Doctor. I think that these people are people who have been failed by the Doctor and have died as a result as not everyone who died this season was shown arriving in ‘Heaven’.

We know from the trailer last episode (and also from online confirmation) that the Cybermen are back for the finale as the ‘big bad’ along with discovering Missy’s agenda, which seems fixated on the Doctor. If this is the case, perhaps she is building an army of Cybermen who have been failed by the Doctor, to target him specifically. I guess we will find out how this is possible seemingly without physical bodies.

Missy is interested in Clara. We have seen her watching Clara at the end of Flatline and commenting that she has chosen well. Clara is definitely being chosen by Missy for something and seems to be against the Doctor in the trailer for the finale.

There is one person who is both obsessed with the Doctor and a human looking alien and that is the Master. We know that Missy could be short for Mistress and therefore a female version of the Master. We also know that Steven Moffat has continually been criticised for not including many well-constructed female character and in particular for never making the Doctor a woman. Perhaps this is his halfway point; having the Master gender bend into a woman. We know Time Lords can do this and that it’s also potentially seen as a bit of an ‘acting out’ move on the part of the Time Lord (The Doctor’s Wife) so it’s definitely within the scope of what the Master is capable of and likely to do. We also know that potentially Missy controls some aspects of time. This was alluded to with the solar flare in In the Forest of the Night and the Doctor’s response, which was surprising to her. She could also be controlling time to save the people or souls of the people that the Doctor has sacrificed, more like punching through time rather than reaping a soul.

Clara is, pointlessly, fixated on her relationship with Danny Pink. We see from the episode Listen that there is a future in which they are presumably married and have children, a legacy if you like, and she has been determined to see that through since. We also know from this season that there are many instances where the future can be changed; Kill the Moon and In the Forest of the Night immediately spring to mind. If the future can change even though Clara has seen it, then her future with Danny is not concrete.

We also know that Clara has misgivings about this incarnation of the Doctor. That sometimes she doesn’t trust him or trust herself with him and that he doesn’t think he’s the best person. At this point, the only thing that might fully turn Clara against the Doctor is the death of Danny Pink and her future with him. Perhaps Missy will orchestrate a scenario in which Danny is killed and the Doctor is partially responsible. Feeding on the mistrust that has grown throughout the season and the fact that Clara had sacrificed so much of herself for the Doctor, jumping into his time stream during the Eleventh incarnation, Clara will question whether her actions matter without Danny (eye-roll) but also whether or not she ever really existed given being strewn throughout time and space. She will align with Missy.

There have been rumours that Jenna Louise Coleman would be leaving the series and she has neither confirmed nor denied this statement, however, she has said that leave or stay she does not want to give away the ending. Interestingly, many of the articles refer to her role as companion in particular. I think that Missy, the Master, chose well… in terms of choosing a companion. I think that Clara will stay on in a reduced capacity on the show as the Master’s companion, which would be really cool.

However, the mystery doesn’t just end with Clara and Missy. There’s a rumour that has been flying around for ages that Charles Dance might be playing a villain in the future on Doctor Who, and who doesn’t think he’d be a winner for the Master. Missy is killed in the final battle at the end of this season of Who and regenerates into Charles Dance who takes Clara as companion and leaves the Doctor struggling with whether he is the good man he has always thought he was or not.

The alternative of course is that Charles Dance is actually playing the Valeyard – the evil regeneration of the Doctor – and that Missy is actually trying to avert that future *or coax him on). For information, the Valeyard is described as an amalgamation of the darker side of the Doctor’s nature – according to the Master (ooooo interesting link!). Not that the series has necessarily stuck to old series continuity, but the Valeyard was said to be created during a period when the thirteenth incarnation of the Doctor was trying to break the limit imposed on Time Lords in terms of regeneration.

Now, this season’s Doctor is considered the 12th and he could also be considered the 13th because of the inclusion of the War Doctor in the 50th Anniversary special. Capaldi’s Doctor received an additional regeneration from the time-locked Gallifrey, so I have no idea why he hasn’t been trying to find more regenerations all season.

It’s easy to forget that the Great Intelligence, in The Name of the Doctor, listed all the names the Doctor would be known as in the future and how many he would slaughter; one of those names was the Valeyard. Moffat hasn’t forgotten.

Throughout Matt Smith’s run as the Eleventh Doctor, various groups worked together to try to stop him from ever continuing his life. Examples could include the use of the Pandorica at the end of season five by a lot of the Doctor’s enemies and also the brain washing of River Song to rid the universe of the Doctor in season six. The Great Intelligence in season 7 makes 3 from 3 on the series ‘big bad’s’ who wanted to end the Doctor’s story because of who he will become.

If this is the path that the season is heading down, Capaldi could regenerate at the end of this season into Charles Dance and the villain next year could be the Doctor himself, mirroring the path that the Doctor has taken this year questioning his own motivations and actions.

Capaldi’s Doctor could equally be the Valeyard. Perhaps whatever the Master does to him leads him further down the rabbit hole; believing he’s not worthy before giving in to the darkness.

I personally think that Charles Dance would make a phenomenal Valeyard, but maybe Capaldi would too. We know he has the ability to play it. Whether he can do it with the same intensity as we know Charles Dance can is left to be seen.

It’s an exciting prospect, but unclear how easy it would be to get away with in the show if the on-going villain used to be the hero. I’d love to see them break that new ground though.

I am now a little freaked out that if it’s not real, the actual ending wouldn’t be as good! I guess we’ll have to wait and see! Thanks to Alex and Paul who helped be the sounding board for all of this theory.

Now, tell me your theories!!

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